Men and women in Sweden have been swimming together in public pools quite peaceably for more than 100 years.
But as the government has welcomed tens of thousands of Muslim migrants to be resettled in the Scandinavian country, some are wondering if Swedes may soon have to revert back to separate swimming arrangements.
The reason is simple, reports Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist, a fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
Women are faced with a new reality when they show up for a swim at any number of public pools.
“Young male asylum seekers have turned Sweden’s public swimming pools into ordeals of rape and sexual assault,” Carlqvist writes. “More and more Swedes are now avoiding the pools all together.”
“Swedish politicians seem convinced that some education on ‘equality’ will change the ways of men, who, since childhood, have been taught that it is the responsibility of women not to arouse them – and therefore the woman’s fault if the man feels like raping her,” observed Carlqvist in her latest article.
In 1975, before Sweden began experimenting with a multicultural immigration strategy, it was one of the safest countries in the world.
Sweden and Denmark now have the highest rates of sexual assault in the European Union, according to a study by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights. The findings were based on data from 2012 that was published in 2014.
A recent survey published by Aftonbladet on women’s fears in Sweden found that 46 percent of women felt either very or somewhat unsafe when alone after dark compared to just 20 percent for Swedish men.
“They’re scared because of the Muslim invaders,” noted anti-Shariah activist Pamela Geller on her website Monday. “And yet instead of doing anything to stop the invaders, Sweden (and Europe in general) are just bringing in more of them. Europe is committing suicide before our eyes. ”
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These trends have emerged in a country where police are not permitted to identify the immigration status or national origin of criminal suspects out of fear that it could fan the flames of “Islamophobia” among native-born Swedes.
Brutal attack outside Stockholm
The most recent example of the type of crime that has instilled fear in Swedish women is the case of Nathalie Hager, 29, who was on her way home from a bus stop last Tuesday night when a group of Arabic-speaking men suddenly attacked her outside a church. She managed to fight her way out of a gang rape but was left badly injured.
“They beat me black and blue and cut into one of my breasts, while shouting at me that I was a Swedish whore,” Hager told Fria Tider, a nationalist magazine that published her story Sunday. Only one Swedish newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda, NA, published a brief mention of the attempted gang rape with scant information.
The attack took place near a church in the picturesque town of Nora, west of Stockholm, late Tuesday night.
“They pushed me down on my stomach and dragged me by my hair up a paved hill and into an alley,” she said. “I have no memories of them beating me, but my face is all blue and swollen. They also cut into one of my breasts with something that must have been a carpet knife or a razor blade, the wounds are long and narrow. I also have big black marks on my arms where they held me.”
She managed to break away. While running, she saw her boyfriend approaching from 50 meters away, and at that point the men, described as between 30 and 35, fled.
WND reported last week on a growing rape crisis in Germany, including a gang of 30 young Muslim men who chased three teenage girls after taking pictures of them on their cell phones at a mall, and an assault on two schoolgirls at a public swimming pool.
Counter-culture shockwaves at pools, beaches
The wave of sexual attacks and sexual harassment at public pools and beaches in Sweden goes against a longstanding history in Sweden of women and men swimming together.
Carlqvist gives a brief historical account of the Swedish tradition that swept across Europe in the late 19th century.
“Mixed bathing in Sweden started in the small southern fishing village of Mölle. Around 1890, the ‘Sin of Mölle’ gained notoriety. Men and women were swimming together! Out in the open and shamelessly flaunting their striped bathing attire. It was a sensation that echoed all over Europe, and people came from everywhere to partake in the exciting new activity. Danes poured in, and even the German Emperor Wilhelm II made his way to Mölle in July 1907.”
But the young men coming from the Middle East and North Africa have no exposure to such a culture, and the clash of worldviews has been like the Titanic hitting ice in the open sea.
Carlqvist describes a sort of collective cognitive dissonance in her country.
“It should come as surprise to no one that men from the Middle East and North Africa have quite a different view of women than Swedish men do. The only mystery is why Swedish politicians have got it in their heads that everyone who sets foot on Swedish soil will immediately embrace our values, our view of women and our traditions.”
Bikini-clad women seen as inviting sex
The largest ethnic groups coming to Sweden are Afghan, Iraqi, Somali and Syrian – the same groups that are now coming to the U.S. as refugees, although in smaller numbers as a percentage of total population.
She said Swedish politicians may be surprised to learn that many of these foreign men think women who run around in bikinis are fair game, but they cannot admit that the difference has anything to do with being raised under Islam.
“Of course, they cannot admit – to Swedes – that this completely alien view of women has anything to do with Islam, because then they would become victims of their own claim that everyone who criticizes Islam is an ‘Islamophobe,'” Carlqvist writes.
Cover-up gets harder for media to pull off
For many years, she said, it was possible to cover up the abuse, partly because the Swedish media chose to call the perpetrators “youth gangs,” and never mention that they were almost always immigrants from Muslim countries.
In Malmö, for example, one of the most immigrant-heavy cities in Sweden, and where Swedes have actually been a minority since 2013, the problems at public pools started at least 15 years ago.
Carlqvist gives a detailed history of the problems at public pools in Swedish cities that have welcomed large Muslim immigrant populations.
Sweden, like France, also has a history of topless beaches.
“The attitude towards nudity in Scandinavia is very different from that in the Middle East. Sweden has many nude beaches, where men and women swim together without a stitch of clothing, without the slightest hint of sexual harassment,” Carlqvist writes. “In the gender-separated changing rooms at public pools, there is no sign of shyness. Swedish men and women see it as a matter of course to shower and wash properly before getting in the pool, and a couple of decades ago stern overseers even patrolled the changing rooms to check the patrons’ shower habits.”
In Muslim countries, nudity is seen as extremely private, and one does not willingly take showers with others, not even with members of the same sex.
All the public pool personnel with whom Gatestone spoke confirmed that Muslim men and women shower with their underwear on, and then keep them on under their swimwear.
Many Muslim women bathe in a so-called burkini, a garment that covers the entire body, so when Muslim men see Swedish women in a bikini, many of them conclude that they must be “easy” women whom one is “allowed” to grope.
In 2015, when roughly 163,000 asylum seekers came to Sweden, the problems at public pools increased exponentially, Carlqvist reports.
More than 35,000 young people, so-called “unaccompanied refugee children,” arrived – 93 percent of whom are male and claim to be 16-17 years old. To prevent idleness, many cities offer them free entrance to public pools.
It’s ‘not wrong in Afghanistan’
During the past few months, the number of reports of sexual assaults and harassment against women at public pools has been overwhelming. Most of the “children” are from Afghanistan, widely considered among the most dangerous places in the world for women.
When the Swedish daily Aftonbladet visited the country in 2013, 61-year-old Fatima told the paper what it is like to be a woman in Afghanistan: “What happens if we do not obey? Well, our husbands or sons beat us of course. We are their slaves.”
To expect men from a culture that views women as men’s slaves to behave like Swedish men is not just stupid – it is dangerous, Carlqvist said.
Mr. Azizi, the manager of a large hotel in Kabul, told Carlqvist how an average Afghan man sees sexual attacks on women:
“What the Afghans are doing is not wrong in Afghanistan, so your rules are completely alien to them. Women stay at home in Afghanistan, and if they need to go out they are always accompanied by a man. If you want to stop Afghans from molesting Swedish girls, you need to be tough on them. Making them take classes on equality and how to treat women is pointless. The first time they behave badly, they should be given a warning, and the second time you should deport them from Sweden.”